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Working with GSA

This chapter describes how to use the GSA interface


The New model wizard and Data Generation Wizard provide a quick way of generating simple structural forms.

The New Model Wizard runs when you start a new document set up preliminary details about the structure such as job details, structure type and units. The user may finish at this stage with an empty model or proceed via “Generate data for the selected structure type” to select a structural form and then generate a model based on a set of parameters defining this structure. At the end of this process a complete model is generated ready for loading to be applied.

These wizards are covered in more detail in the GSA Tools section.


Loading and results are grouped into cases. Loads are grouped into load cases, primary results (those calculated directly) are grouped into analysis case and secondary results (combinations of primary results) are grouped into combination cases. For design there are design cases which associate a set of results with a design code.

Cases are covered in more detail in the Analysis Tasks and Cases section.


Preferences are set in the Preferences dialog available from the Tools > Preferences (Ctrl+F7) menu command.

Toolbar and dockable pane selection and positioning and window sizes are set each time the program is closed.

Default settings for new graphic views and output views are saved as preferences. Several preferred graphic and output views may also be saved as preferences. Details are given in the Working with saved views and preferred views

The preferences may be reset to their default factory setting by using the Tools > Reset preferences menu command. The option is given to reset all view settings. Specific view settings may be reset from the Explorer pane.

Toolbars and dockable panes

Toolbars and dockable panes can be controlled from the View > Toolbars and dockable panes menu command or the GSA toolbar. Toolbars can be customised using the dropdown arrow at the end of the bar. With the exception of the Lists toolbar all toolbars can be either docked (attached to the main frame) or floating. Toolbars are covered in detail in the Toolbars and keyboard accelerators section. documentation.

File formats

The default file type for GSA is a GWB file. There is also an editable text file available (GWA) which can be used when taking data to an earlier version of GSA . The text file format is given in GSA text (ASCII) data file format

There are also options to interact with other software through Import and Export functions. These are described in detail in the Interaction with other software section.


Explorer panes– access to Table views, Output views, Saved views and Preferred views.

Output panes– display properties; display results for individual nodes, elements and members; display reports of the analysis process

Table views – allow tables of input data to be edited.

Graphic views – display a graphic image of the model offering graphical editing and graphical representation of input data and results.

Output views – display input data and results in tabular format.

Particular operations warrant their own sections:

Sculpting – graphical editing of data.

Undoing edits – the Undo and Redo commands.

Saved views and preferred views – saving Graphic View and Output View settings for re-use either with the particular model or as preferences.